If you’re struggling with money due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. Help is available. We’ve listed some resources and contact details for organisations that can help you deal with your money worries.
Where to find help
The government’s Money Helper service has a Money Navigator tool that’s a useful place to start. Answer some simple questions about your finances and you’ll be pointed towards resources to help you plan, budget, claim any benefits you’re entitled to and start to deal with any debts you have.
The independent moneysavingexpert.com website’s Coronavirus Guides section covers help with bills, renting and mortgages, furlough and sick pay, and claiming benefits.
Citizensadvice.org.uk has guidance in its debt and money section. And you can chat to an adviser online.
Talk to your bank
Talk to your bank, building society, mortgage lender or any other organisation you’ve got a financial arrangement with. Ask what help is available – such as payment holidays, overdraft arrangements or temporary access to savings accounts.
Can you claim extra money?
|Find out if you qualify for benefits using independent calculators from the following organisations. |
– Policy in Practice
|If you have to work from home because of COVID-19, you may be able to claim tax relief on: |
– extra household costs (heating, lighting, phone calls), and
– equipment for work (computers, phones, chairs).
These organisations offer free help and support with debts and money worries. You can chat to an adviser online.
These organisations offer free information and guidance about pensions (but they don’t offer independent financial advice).
|The government’s MoneyHelper service can help with questions about workplace, State or personal pensions.||Pension Wise (part of MoneyHelper) offers guidance about retirement options.||Information about all kinds of pensions.|
Independent financial advice
You can pay for specific advice, tailored to you, that recommends what you should do. The following organisations can help you find a financial adviser (but won’t recommend one).
|MoneyHelper||Personal Finance Society||Financial Conduct Authority|
|Guidance on how to choose an independent financial adviser and a directory of advisers that specialise in retirement.||Searchable directory of independent financial advisers.||Holds the register of regulated and authorised financial advisers in the UK.|
Watch out for scams
Please treat any offers of free help with your pension – even if they claim to be from a government-backed organisation like Pension Wise – with care. They could be scams. Pension Wise won’t contact you unless you get in touch with them.
You should also look out for ‘phishing’, where scammers try to get your personal details by sending emails or texts that look like they’re from a legitimate source (such as your bank, HM Revenue & Customs, PayPal or Amazon) and asking you to click on a link in the message. You should never click on these links – instead, go to the organisation’s website and log in there.
|You can report suspected pension and finance scams to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s Scamsmart service.||You can report emails you think are ‘phishing’ to the government’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service, email@example.com||If you think you’ve been scammed, contact Action Fraud (actionfraud.police.uk) online or call 0300 123 2040.|